Lifeson Cuts Plea Deal

Rush guitarist Alex Lifeson and his son accepted plea deals and won’t go to jail for a 2003 New Year’s Eve fracas with Naples, Fla., sheriff’s deputies.

Lifeson, whose real name is Alex Zivojinovich, and his 34-year-old son, Justin, will instead serve one year probation and pay court costs as part of the agreement. The charges are reduced to misdemeanors from felonies that could have resulted in prison sentences.

Father and son will plead to a single misdemeanor charge of resisting arrest without violence, according to the agreement. There will be no formal conviction if they successfully complete probation.

“Today closes a difficult and painful period in the lives of my family, my friends and myself,” Lifeson said in a statement. “But the sun is shining and it feels good.”

The altercation with the cops began when Justin Zivojinovich and some of his friends jumped on stage during a party at the local Ritz-Carlton hotel. Lifeson followed when they were escorted from the hotel by security, and he allegedly knocked one officer down a stairwell and spit in an other’s face.

Lifeson’s nose was broken in the melee and photos showed him still wearing a blood-soaked shirt when he was released from custody the following morning.